Towns and villages cleared to sell weed still await state guidance

GEDDES, N.Y. (WSYR) — This election fewer people exercised their right to vote. With the lower turnout, decisions come down to each and every vote, especially with the tight propositions to block marijuana retail sales in certain towns and villages.

According to the Onondaga County Board of Elections, both the town and village of Camillus marijuana proposition races are too close to call. The results are within the absentee ballot margin and the race will be decided after the absentee canvas on November 16. Just over 150 votes separate the town of Camillus voters, and only four votes in the village.

Meanwhile, the town of Geddes and the village of Tully narrowly cleared the way for the state to license dispensaries there. With not even a 200 vote difference, neighbors in the Geddes voted in favor of having marijuana dispensaries and consumption lounges in their community. But for the town supervisor, how to take those next steps for retail sales remains unclear.

“We have already consulted with our legal counsel, and they have informed us the rules of the State Commission haven’t been published yet.”

jerry albrigo
town of geddes supervisor

Those rules for licensing and where retail businesses can set up shop are established by New York’s new Office of Cannabis Management, which is overseen by the state’s Cannabis Control Board, the same office that signed off on the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) in March.

The Office of Cannabis Management is in charge of issuing licenses to cultivators, processors, distributors, and dispensaries to grow and sell cannabis in the state. Even though there are currently no stores open to purchase marijuana, the possession and use of cannabis for New Yorkers 21-years-old and up is now legal.

However, now that the people have spoken for what they want in their town or village, Albrigo said he hopes more concrete plans come in the near future. “We’ll have to advise those that want to put in an application in for a license that because of the newness of this, the formation and the finalization of the rules and regulations, as soon as they become available,” he explained.

After speaking with the town’s legal counsel, Albrigo said local municipalities like Geddes have the authority to revise or add to any of the rules the state puts in place. The current idea is to have marijuana dispensaries and lounges in Geddes located away from schools, places of worship, and residential neighborhoods

“We’re hopeful that now we’ll move forward. The people have spoken and we will do all that we can to make sure that the licensing and the setup and the compliance issues are met and done by the Town of Geddes.”

ALBRIGO

Although the regulations for local municipalities haven’t been put out by the state yet, there are descriptions for the different adult-use licenses. If you’re looking to set up a dispensary, you will not be able to own more than three retail dispensary licenses. The same applies to an on-site consumption license.

Read more on the MRTA here.

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